Howard Brenton: H.I.D. (Hess is Dead)

(890 words)
  • Steve Barfield (University of Human Development, Suleymanyia, Iraqi Kurdistan)
  • Lizzie Howe (Independent Scholar - Europe)

Howard Brenton’s H.I.D. (Hess Is Dead) was originally conceived at the Mickery Theatre, Amsterdam, in discussions between Brenton and the artistic director, Ritsaert Ten Cate. It was first performed in September 1989 by the RSC at the Almeida, London, and then by the Mickery at the Waag, Amsterdam. Inspired by the demolition of Spandau Prison in the former East Berlin, H.I.D imagines events that took place around the time of the “suicide” of Rudolf Hess, Spandau’s most notorious prisoner.

Hess [1894-1987] was Adolf Hitler’s ardently Anglophile deputy who mysteriously parachuted into Scotland in 1941 just before Germany’s invasion of Russia. He later claimed that he was trying t…

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Barfield, Steve, Lizzie Howe. "H.I.D. (Hess is Dead)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 April 2005
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]